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Dimensions of carving of Ján Krajčí

by Martin Mešša

Ján Krajčí: The Three Magi, 1997Ján Krajčí, Ing. (1942), native to the village of Štiavnicke Bane, grew up in the village of Jalná, by the River Hron. After the graduation from the University of Mining in the city of Ostrava, he moved to live in the city of Košice and worked as a research worker in VSŽ (the Iron and Steel Works of Eastern Slovakia), later US Steel until he retired in 2002. In 1965, he began to carve – that he has done systematically since then. That he built up a distinctive and specific carving style makes him a creative and exceptionally peculiar personality. Krajčí assimilated general principles of folk wood carving, utilised them fully and developed a new artistic language based on them. It is, however, hard to tell if he got inspiration from the study of specialised literature or from the intuitive examination of folk carving works, particularly herdsmen wood carving works. His works can be aptly described by several terms - condensed expression, simplification, simple and uncomplicated lines and balanced composition. Surprisingly enough, simple creative means he uses help him to produce figures that are extraordinary and special, often reflecting real emotions.

Ján Krajčí has produced works for the Centre for Folk Art Production for twenty five years. He does not imitate folk art, he only borrows inspiration from it. Sometimes we can identify sources of his inspiration, but he has his special creative expression. Feedback and responses from people to his work and being commercially successful is very important for Krajčí. His nativity scenes, inspired by folk production in his native Piarg, are very popular among people. He carves them as compositions on surface combined with a location-specific architecture and plants. In addition to saints, the space is filled up with shepherds, pilgrims and animals. Plastic carving art embodied in his angels, sheep and horses is popular among children at folk art fairs. Krajčí was awarded the Master of folk art production title in 1990.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 04/2007:


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